Written By Thomas Ahearn
Delaware Governor Jack Markell has signed Ban the Box legislation – House Bill 167 – that will prohibit public employers in the state from inquiring into criminal records of job applicants before their first interview by “banning the box” that asks job candidates to check if they have a criminal record. The full text of House Bill 167 is at http://legis.delaware.gov/LIS/lis147.nsf/vwLegislation/HB+167/$file/legis.html?open.
“We cannot accept the human tragedy that occurs when those who we incarcerate – who have the intention and ability to rejoin mainstream society – return to a destructive lifestyle because we erect barriers that deny them fair opportunities,” Governor Markell stated in a press release available at http://news.delaware.gov/2014/05/08/governor-bans-the-box-for-delaware-public-employees/.
House Bill 167 – which was approved 31-8 in the House and 15-5 in the Senate – permits criminal background checks only after an applicant’s initial interview and does not place any requirements on private employers. Police forces, the Department of Corrections, and other positions with a statutory mandate for background checks are excluded from the provisions of the Ban the Box law.
According to a Statewide Ban the Box Resource Guide from the National Employment Law Project (NELP), Delaware is the 12th state to Ban the Box joining California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Rhode island. The Ban the Box Resource Guide is available at http://nelp.3cdn.net/d399b53681a89e5812_nqm6vuc4k.pdf.
“The Ban the Box movement is spreading rapidly and quickly becoming a national standard,” says Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR). Rosen selected Ban the Box as the top trend for the ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2014. For a full list of all of the top trends, please visit http://www.esrcheck.com/ESR-Top-Ten-Background-Check-Trends.
Under H.B. 167, it is also an unlawful employment practice for any public employer in Delaware to inquire into or consider the credit history or credit score of an applicant for employment during the initial application process, up to and including the first interview. A public employer may inquire into or consider an applicant’s credit history or credit score after it has determined that the applicant is otherwise qualified and has conditionally offered the applicant the position. The requirements of this law shall not apply where a credit check is a requirement of State or federal law for a particular class of services.
ESR News Provides Updates on Ban the Box Legislation
To keep up to date on the latest Ban the Box legislation, read ESR News blogs at http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/ban-the-box/.